(Toledo News Now) - Fire victim injuries and deaths both dropped in the state of Ohio from 2012 to 2013, and local fire officials say new defensive techniques are causing the difference.
Fire victim injuries dropped from 735 to 669 in Ohio over that span, while fire victim deaths dropped slightly from 106 to 103. These new numbers combine for a 27-year low in the state.
Officials tell us even though deaths and injuries are down, their run numbers are up. Crews are responding to fire-related incidents almost every day, but an aggressive approach is saving lives and knocking fires down.
Lieutenant Matthew Hertzfeld of the Toledo Fire Department says crews are working harder than before, responding to more than 45,000 incidents just this year.
Lt. Hertzfeld says he believes public education and fire safety programs are bringing light to the problem and creating a heightened sense of awareness.
"When you have a loss of life in a community, (these accidents) can't help but reverberate," he said. "It's heightened awareness for home fire safety with smoke alarms and escape plans."
Lt. Hertzfeld says training is also making a difference. New training methods take a look at the state-wide fire trends and zero in on what needs to be done.